Advisory Council

The Alumni Advisory Council builds a sense of community among alumni by encouraging volunteerism, experiential engagement and philanthropic support.

The AAC meets five times a year, from September to June. The Council has three working committees: the Recruitment and Selection Committee selects advisory council members and board of governors' members; the Fundraising Committee advises on the University’s fundraising initiatives; and the Awards Selection Committee selects Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader award recipients.

Alumni and the Board of Governors

As well, the council appoints two alumni to serve on MacEwan's Board of Governors. The selected members reinforce the Alumni Association’s mission of building and strengthening the mutually beneficial relationships between alumni and their university. The MacEwan Board of Governors guides the university within its approved mandate, establishing policies to govern university affairs. Members establish the long-term vision, mission and strategic direction of the university while understanding that they have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the university and those it serves.

Meet the Board of Governors representatives

Meet the Alumni Advisory Council

Amy Beard

Bachelor of Commerce, 2017

Amy works at the Government of Alberta as a research and policy analyst in the Office of the Corporate Chief Information Officer, Service Alberta. In this role she coordinates governance committees while also working with her team on information management and technology policy.

During her time at MacEwan, Amy served two terms as the vice-president of Operations and Finance with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) over the 2015/16 and 2016/17 years. Throughout her two terms she worked with her team on the design and development of the SAMU building, advocated to the City of Edmonton for consistent price increases to the U-Pass and served as the student representative on the Presidential Search Committee.

Learn more about Amy

Kassie Burkholder

Bachelor of Arts, 2014

Kassie Burkholder is passionate about community engagement, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. She is the co-founder and principal of Loxy Creative Inc., a digital marketing and data-driven firm in Edmonton. Kassie also owns a café and retail shop in Edmonton, rated one of the “Best Edmonton Cafés,” Salgado Fenwick and The Barking Buffalo Café.

Kassie is an active volunteer within her community and a strong advocate for equitable participation of women in politics and government. She is a co-founder of Femme Cabal, an Edmonton-based community created to celebrate and support women in their endeavours and provide a platform for personal growth and story sharing. She has had the opportunity to sit on committees and boards within Alberta, worked on political campaigns, and has spoken at numerous events.

Learn more about Kassie

Myles Dykes

SAMU president

Myles Dykes is the president of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) and a student member of the Board of Governors. In addition to pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in political science and economics, Myles spent the last year representing MacEwan students as one of two student members on the Board of Governors.

From 2019 to 2020, Myles served as a students’ councillor and was awarded Councillor of the Year two years in a row for his work. As the 2020/2021 president of MacEwan Rotaract, Myles is focused on strengthening and supporting communities through active service. He looks forward to continuing his advocacy on behalf of MacEwan students, to ensure the decisions made for students reflect their best interests. His priorities for his year as president are engaging our community, affordability and accessibility, and working towards inclusion.

Kassidy Green

Bachelor of Social Work, 2019

Kassidy has experience working in provincial politics, and feels strongly about the necessity of civil discourse, even when it can feel uncomfortable. She has worked with Children’s Services for just under three years, and recently transitioned to Boyle Street Community Services as their corporate and donor partnership lead. In 2019 she participated in the first international exchange for the Bachelor of Social Work program. Kassidy had the privilege of spending four months completing a practicum in Dresden, Germany, where she participated in community-based programs for refugee and immigrant children and youth.

She is passionate about identifying systemic issues in society and finding innovative, collaborative solutions that empower individuals and create strong communities. Kassidy is currently the co-chair of the Social Justice/Social Action Committee with the Alberta College of Social Workers and is actively engaged in advocacy related to climate change, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and Truth and Reconciliation efforts. She looks forward to representing the Faculty of Health and Community Studies on the council and continuing to build a strong MacEwan University community.

Learn more about Kassidy

Kent Karaki

Microcomputer Specialist, 2003

Kent currently works in the MacEwan IT department as a service transition analyst. He works with a variety of stakeholders throughout the university in requirement gathering, defining scope and delivering services. Kent is also in his fourth year of MacEwan’s Human Services Administration program.

Kent is very proud to be an alumni member in the MacEwan community.

Learn more about Kent

Lori Kotuza

Occupational Health Nursing, 2016

Lori is a dedicated registered nurse with a wide range of experience in acute care, continuing care, research, occupational health and currently in public health. She is committed to providing excellence in her field to ensure quality outcomes in care and teaching nurses to become successful in their chosen profession.

Lori is currently finishing her Master of Nursing in Leadership with Trinity Western University.

Learn more about Lori

Sarah Kowalevsky

Music, 2001

Sarah Kowalevsky is a proud graduate of the MacEwan University Music program, where she focused on vocal performance. Her experience was transformational, with new knowledge and applied skills that she was able to utilize right away during her first musical appearance on Holland America Cruise Line. The band members that she sailed with were all MacEwan alumni, including her husband on drums.

Sarah settled in Edmonton and found herself working at the University of Alberta in 2007, where she now has a rewarding career in development at the Alberta School of Business. Sarah and her husband, Justin, have two great kids and have continued their musical passion with their successful cover band, Five on the Side. Sarah looks forward to re-connecting with MacEwan and representing the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.

Learn more about Sarah

Danika McConnell

Bachelor of Communication Studies, 2019

In 2012, Danika moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta to pursue MacEwan's newest degree program—Bachelor of Communication Studies. She recently graduated with a major in professional communication with a secondary focus in journalism. For the last two years she has been part of the marketing team at ATB Financial. In her spare time, she is also a freelance writer and frequently works with local non-profits to improve their content marketing strategies.

Throughout her time at MacEwan, she was the news editor at MacEwan's student-run publication, The Griff, and soon after became the inaugural vice-president external at the Students' Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) for the 2015/16 term, followed by president in 2016/17. Danika’s core focuses alongside her team revolved around the beginning development and construction of the association’s first students’ building. She also dedicated much of her time toward consent education and elimination of violence on campus and advocating to all levels of government on behalf of students not only at MacEwan, but across the country.

Learn more about Danika

Josh Morris

Bachelor of Commerce, 2015

Josh began his career in human resources by recruiting post-secondary students for a marketing company and is now a HR advisor with Alberta Investment Management Corporation. He manages the post-secondary engagement program at AIMCo among his regular duties.

As a MacEwan student, Josh served as president of the MacEwan Human Resources Club (MHRC) of the 2014/15 academic year. During his time and with the support of others he grew the club from two to 22 members. Josh is the chair of the Scholarship Committee of the AIMCo Foundation and is a member of the Civics Committee in the Forest Terrace Heights Community League. He also serves as a mentor through the MHRC Mentorship Program. Josh participates in the MacEwan convocation ceremonies and occasionally presents to SAMU Clubs alongside his wife, who is also a MacEwan graduate.

Learn more about Josh

Matthew Peddie

Bachelor of Commerce, 2014

Matthew is a former MacEwan Griffins hockey player and business graduate who went on to complete a master’s in professional accounting at the University of Saskatchewan and CPA designation.

With over five years of accounting and finance experience, Matthew now works for Ernst and Young Orenda Corporate Finance as part of the Mergers and Acquisitions team, advising corporate and private equity clients on a range of transactions. Matthew continues to be involved with the MacEwan men's hockey program as the president of the Griffins Men's Hockey Alumni.

Learn more about Matthew

Elliot Rose

Bachelor of Commerce, 2019

Ellliot grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and moved to Edmonton with his family in 2007. For the past 12 years he’s enjoyed graduating from MacEwan, working with the Kidney Foundation, University Hospital Foundation, marketing industry and currently is a wealth associate with ScotiaMcLeod where he helps business owners, executives and professionals shape their future.

A kidney transplant recipient in 2014, Elliot is passionate about giving back and for the past six years has been a top fundraiser with the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Elliot strives to live a healthier lifestyle and understands that the joy is in the journey not the destination. He looks forward to growing alongside his counterparts on the alumni council.

Learn more about Elliot

 Justin Yaassoub

Bachelor of Arts, 2011

Justin is a lifelong student of leadership who is fascinated with the notion of what makes people respond and react to other human ideas, suggestions and commands. He is the director of All Around Consulting, where he provides leadership and team development guidance to emerging leaders and corporate clients.

After graduating from MacEwan with a BA in political science, Justin worked as a public affairs officer writing communication strategies and speeches for the Government of Alberta. He always had the urge to serve abroad as a Canadian Forces Operator and in 2012, after a grueling ten month course, Justin joined the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) as a special forces operator. He deployed to multiple regions including North Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

Justin was recently awarded the Bravery Medal by the Governor General for his actions during an international operation. He was also awarded a Commanders and two Task Force Commanders Citations for his teamwork and leadership during his operations.

In October of 2018 Justin was recognized by MacEwan University as a Distinguished Alumni award recipient and is currently working with MacEwan’s School of Continuing Education on their Leadership Certificate.

Justin believes that through hardship the strongest of bonds are realized and the greatest of leaders shine.

Learn more about Justin

Meet Alumni Advisory Council member Kent Karaki
“It felt natural to give back to the university community.”
Kent Karaki FULL STORY
Joining the advisory council has been a great way to get reconnected and to give back. I think I’m a pretty good advocate for the MacEwan music program but joining the council gave that advocacy a clear purpose.
Sarah Kowalevsky, Music '01
Meet Alumni Advisory Council member Sarah Kowalevsky
The Alumni Advisory Council member discusses the old Jasper Place campus, getting involved as an alum and a little dance affectionately known as the "MacEwan Shuffle."
Sarah Kowalevsky, Music '01, is a member of the Alumni Advisory Council and a donor to the university Full story